Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

The closest national holiday (time-wise) in Japan to America’s Thanksgiving would probably be kinrou kansha no hi (勤労感謝の日) literally Hard Work Gratitude Day. The word kansha can be interpreted as thankful/grateful/appreciative so you can twist  the translation of kinrou kansha no hi to Labor Thanksgiving Day.  While we’re on the subject of thanks, let us discuss “thank you”.

If you have the faintest of interest in anything Japanese then you should recognize the word arigato. Some people may also be familiar with the butchered “don’t touch my moustache” dou itashimashite. Let us add some sense to these senseless words adapted into American foreign jargon.

And now it’s time for VOCABLOID.

The full “Thank You Very Much” doumo arigatou gozaimasu has 3 parts to it much like the English translation and the most kick ass mecha to date.

doumo is most often used to mean “much” or “very”, especially in the context of thanks and sorry. You wouldn’t want to use doumo to say something like “I HAVE DOUMO MEGABYTES.” But if you accidentally said something that stupid that loud you might want to apologize with doumou sumimasen.

Aritgatou has a long(er) O sound at the end of it. It’s often misspelled as arigato. The misspelling probably stems from the people who have a personal fetish for macrons and type it out as arigatō only to drop the bar because ASCII is limited like that. And unlike doumo (dōmo for you macron lovers) it’s simple enough to translate directly to thank you. If you’re confused by this long O sound maybe a song can help. Then again the title of that song is spelled incorrectly but if you’re such a rockstar badass you can spell things however you want.

Now that we have doumo and arigatou we can combine the two and start singing words of thanks.  You can use either one singly or together to say “thank you”. However this is most appropriate for informal or casual situations. If you’re excessively grateful, work in retail or find yourself in a formal situation you might want to throw a gozaimasu at the end of it. gozaimasu deserves a post of its own so I won’t go into excruciating detail on it. Just remember you can either use arigatou goazimasu or doumo arigatou gozaimasu to say thank you formally.

If you find yourself in the receiving end of an arigatou one of many things could be appropriate. If you’re still stuck in a formal situation you might want to reply with dou itashimashite. If everyone is formal and in need of thanks you could reply back with kochira koso arigatou goazimasu. Where in this context the kochira koso part translates to “it is I who should say so”. One should note it is rare for both the customer and cashier to be thankful for each other.

If you just bought something from a store and the cashier thanks you, just walk away. Yup, no need to say anything. That’s the culture of Japan. It’s similar to how you don’t tip when you’re in a restaurant in Japan. It’s insulting because you’re saying the employees aren’t paid enough.

Finally if you’re with friends you can tell them something along the lines of “don’t mind” in one of themany  ways to say that sort of thing:

  • okkei – it’s okay
  • ii yo – it’s fine
  • iie iie – naw, naw
  • iie iie souna koto iwanaide – no, no, don’t mention it
  • ki ni shinai de – don’t worry

And that concludes this VOCABLOID. どうも –Doumo.

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November 27, 2008. Tags: , , , . vocabloid.

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